Interview with Spooks star Rupert Penry-Jones
The last series was pretty tough for Adam, wasn’t it, especially Fiona’s death. Do things improve for him this year?
For me personally, my first series (series three) was a bit crazy. It was unsettling joining a production and knowing that pretty much all the other cast members are being bumped off!
But since the new guys came in for series four it has been fantastic. Like a new show.
For Adam, I certainly wouldn’t say things are easier for him this series! We really start to see the impact that Fiona’s death has had on him and how it affects his work.
At the end of the last series we were left not knowing if Adam was going to live or die. You obviously lived! How did you come through unscathed?
Yes, I nearly got killed off last series, but I lived to tell the tale! It was a weird experience being rushed to hospital, seeing my prosthetic chest being held open by clamps. Very strange.
But, no, he’s certainly not unscathed psychologically. The cracks are starting to show this year. It’s actually more interesting for Adam’s character, because things are starting to go wrong. He’s having to hide the fact that he’s cracking up – especially from Harry. He’s having horrible flashbacks to Fiona’s death and having a really hard time dealing with his job and the fact that he’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
How has the arrival of Hermione Norris’ character, Ros, affected Adam?
Hermione is a fantastic actress and a real asset to the show. Her arrival has had a brilliant effect on the cast and writers. Adam’s character needed an equal and it’s great for me, as Adam was a bit isolated before. Ros can tell him where to go and get him out of trouble too. At first they like each other and seem to hit it off, but then things turn a bit nasty and they end up in direct competition.
Adam takes her on to his team from MI6 and she feels she’s his equal – which she is – and so she hates having to take orders from him. But there’s definitely a spark there. If they hadn’t met through their jobs I think they might have got it on!
What do you think MI5 makes of the series?
I imagine that real officers must see the series as amusing, but completely ridiculous. The things that we do in an episode take years in reality to come together.
Also, we get paid more to pretend to be them than they do – which must be pretty galling! What those guys have to deal with every day is totally extraordinary. Sometimes you’ll read a script and think it’s too far-fetched; just unbelievable.
Then the next day you open the paper and there it is, actually happening. Real people putting their lives on the line in the most bizarre and extreme situations.